This week, the team from the main contractor, Morrison Construction, began work on the foundations of the building with two piling rigs installing controlled modulus columns into the ground.
Since late-October, the team has been working on ground stabilisation activities and bulk earthworks on the 3.5-hectare site next to Glasgow Airport.
By using innovative technologies and materials that have been, or can be, remanufactured and reused, Morrison Construction is working towards ensuring the building will be awarded BREEAM ‘outstanding’ for sustainability - the highest accolade for sustainability in UK construction.
The team is also avoiding using the most polluting materials such as concrete and other quarried aggregates and where possible, the use of materials that are manufactured overseas.
At around 1.5 times the size of Hampden football pitch, the striking, world-class, facility, with its heather façade, is set to be the linchpin for the future of manufacturing in Scotland.
As the HQ of the NMIS, the new building will house a fully digitalised factory of the future, skills academy and collaboration hub that will bring manufacturers together to work on the development of innovative new manufacturing technologies and products. It will support manufacturing and engineering firms of all sizes and from all sectors across the country, and internationally, to innovate and grow their businesses in the global market.
NMIS is a group of industry-led manufacturing and engineering research and development facilities operated by the University of Strathclyde and supported by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council and Renfrewshire Council.
John Reid, CEO of the NMIS, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to make real progress on the development of our new world-class facility in the space of only a few weeks. Construction starting and the foundations being laid are major milestones in the ongoing development of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) Group.
“It has been a challenging year for many in the manufacturing sector, but for some it has also brought real opportunity. As we look to the future, taking into account the climate emergency and Brexit, as well as the recovery from the pandemic, as a sector it is certain that we will face many more challenges but also, more opportunities will be there for the taking.
“The continual growth of NMIS will ensure manufacturers in Scotland and beyond are able to access the latest technologies and expertise that will help de-risk their innovation efforts and boost the skills of the manufacturing workforce of today and tomorrow. This will enable businesses to make the most of all future opportunities, creating a bigger, stronger and more sustainable manufacturing sector.”
The news that construction is underway on the NMIS site follows the recent launch of the manufacturing recovery plan developed by the Scottish Government, its enterprise and skills agencies, the NMIS, industry partners, trades unions and academics to support the sector over the next 12 months.
The plan recognises the significant impact Covid-19 has had on the manufacturing sector in Scotland and focusses on four priority areas: collaboration and networks, supply chains and competitiveness, adaptation and transformation, and skills and workforce.
The proposals to secure a strong, sustainable future for the manufacturing sector are available for consultation until 15 January 2021. Manufacturers are encouraged to provide feedback on the plans, with more information available online.